Nutrition plays a very important role in canine health
What you feed your dog determines the quality of the coat & skin as well as overall health & longevity.
When choosing a dog food there are so many choices and prices to choose from that it's overwhelming. This page is here to help you make a better educated decision about what to feed your dog and ways that you can improve your dog's health and appearance through nutrition.
One of the main problems with most name brand dog foods is that they contain corn, wheat and soy, have inadequate sources of protein, and lack beneficial oils as well as enzymes necessary for digestion which can only be found in raw foods.
The problem with corn, wheat and soy is that dogs cannot digest them and they act as allergens.
Food allergies are characterized by one or all of these symptoms: dry, itchy, flaky skin, an inability to lose weight, dull fur without luster, a barrel-shaped body, cloudy eyes, excessive matting, shedding, hot spots, licking feet or base of tail, a color loss to the fur and the appearance of "allergy ears" or red, swollen, itchy ear canals, diarrhea or loose stool. These are only the problems we can see! Imagine what strain this is putting on all the organs of the body. Corn, wheat and soy are the main food allergens in dogs and can begin to cause allergy symptoms at any point in the dog's life.
Corn is also misleadingly called "whole grain ground corn" to make it appear more healthy. Wheat and corn can also be called gluten; soy is also called lecithin, soybean oil and soy protein. These are non-digestible fillers coated with sugar (or corn syrup or beets) and lard (or beef tallow) to improve taste. Cheap beef or chicken is added as "meal" or "by-products" which can be nothing more than blood, hooves, beaks and feathers. According to some of the things read while researching canine diets, "by products" can be road kill, euthanized animals, used resturant grease, and toxic additives (the 2007 pet food recall was a result of melamine in wheat gluten made in China which resulted in the death of over 6000 pets and injured over 300,000 in the U.S.). A vitamin/mineral is added and they call it "nutritionally complete." Their greed, however, is having dire consequences for our beloved dogs.
Have you ever wondered why some dogs and cats have severe flea problems, while others are hardly bothered by the little pests? Fleas can be viewed as an indicator of an animal's general health. Parasites in general, and fleas in particular, are most attracted to the weak, unhealthy, or very young animal whose immune system is not functioning well. The long-term solution to a flea problem is to reduce your pet's susceptibility to fleas by improving her health. I'm currently researching an all-natural flea preventive so if you want the latest on this and other topics and promotions please join my Preferred Customer newsletter by signing the Guest Book on the Home Page!
Do tear stains bother you as well as the unpleasant sour odor that can accompany the stains? Many dogs experience reddish-brown stains under their eyes, around their mouths, moles and feet. This is due to allergies and bacteria but can be cured or prevented by giving them an antibiotic called Bright Eyes that we carry in our shop or by switching to a superior pet food without these allergens. A TINY amount of Bright Eyes sprinkled on food daily for a month or so will 100% eliminate the stains throughout the entire body as well as the unpleasant sour odor, which can actually be cured in many cases. Ask for it at your next grooming appointment or stop by for a bottle to try for yourself. The results are amazing!
Many dogs also experience 100% elimination of tear stains by switching to any of the three flavors of Taste of The Wild dog foods that are allergen-free formulas, also available in our shop. http://tasteofthewildpetfood.com
A Few Things You Can Do Now to Improve Your Dog's Health
Many positive benefits can be found by adding a small amount of oil to your dog's diet each day. This is why foods with fish as the main protein are best because of the omega-3 fish oils. Benefits to the coat and skin are soon evident by adding SMALL AMOUNTS of beneficial oils and oily foods to the diet each day such as peanut butter, olive oil, poultry skin, evening primrose oil, butter, bacon grease, flaxseed oil, etc. (Avoid sunflower oil as it has been linked to cancer.) With the addition of just a little extra oil each day, matting and shedding will decrease or be eliminated, skin will be less dry, flaky and itchy and the coat will have a healthy shine to it and be more manageable, thus requiring less maintenance like brushing and combing. These benefits can also been seen by feeding Taste of the Wild's Alaskan Salmon Formula with omega 3s and beneficial oils naturally.
Raw fruits and vegetables should be added to every dogs diet each day or a canned food like Taste of the Wild. Dogs that eat grass are lacking digestive enzymes that get cooked out when dog food companies cook dry and canned foods. Enzymes are vital for good health and can only be found in raw foods & health supplements. Vitamin C is also sensitive to heat and product age. Unfortunately, if a dog eats a carrot or spinach leaf it will exit the body undigested. Most raw fruits and vegetables need to have the cell walls broken down by a juicer or blender in order for the dog to digest the beneficial enzymes, vitamins and minerals. You can give banana, canned pumpkin, peanut butter or place raw fruits and vegetables in a blender or juicer (then add both juice and pulp to the dogs' diet). To make it more palatable for the dog, mix with chicken, beef or canned food. Be sure to start off with SMALL ACCOUNTS to acclimate the dogs' system to this rich new diet and prevent stomach upset. Feeding Taste of the Wild's canned dog food that has uncooked fruits and vegetables is a quick and convenient alternative.
It is highly recommended to give a health supplement with digestive enzymes, antioxidants, beneficial oils and herbs to support a strong immune system such as NuVet Plus Health Supplement.
NuVet Plus is the number one recommended health supplement for dogs on the market today. At the trade shows & pet fairs, in all the groming magazines, at continuing education courses and by reputation amongst groomers and top breeders, NuVet Plus is considered THE BEST! Readers of Dog Fancy Magazine agree and recently voted NuVet Plus their Reader's Choice Award for canine supplement. I've seen first hand the improvements that can be seen by adding NuVet Plus to the diet. Personal experience has also shown that by adding NuVet Plus to a dogs diet, a reduction and often elimination of various tumors including salivary tumor, fatty skin tumor and colon tumors, a brightening of cloudy cataract eyes, numerous skin and coat benefits, older dogs acting much younger, improved hearing, elimination of allergy symptoms, shedding, and clearing of "allergy ears." But my favorite thing about NuVet Plus is their scientifically proven studies showing that giving NuVet Plus can extend the life of your pet! LONGEVITY! From the NuVet Plus website:
"Our scientists, veterinarians and formulators began with the premise that most pet diets are lacking the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There are important nutrients that animals once received when they were living in a more primitive environment that are not available in the modern diet. Commercial pet foods contain numerous by-products that can make them poisonous, toxic and incapable of reducing the devastating effects of unstable oxygen molecules, also known as free radicals. Free radicals have been implicated in more than fifty health problems in humans and animals including various forms of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, cataracts and premature aging."
To order NuVet Plus Health Supplement for your dog purchase a bottle at your next grooming appointment or call their lab at 1-800-474-7044 and give them order code 65397. For a complete list of ingredients and a full explanation of the benefits of each go to
Joint health is also a big concern for many dog owners as they see their dog in pain and want to help them. NuJoint Plus Joint Support has glucosamine and chondroitin to aid in relieving stiffness and pain throuh the lubrication of joints and thickening of cartilage. For all dogs experiencing joint problems it is best to keep them at a slender weight, keep them warm to avoid getting them chilled, and give them both NuVet Plus Health Supplement as well as NuJoint Plus Joint Support. Ask your vet if you can give a baby aspirin of 81mg once a day to your dog if he appears to be in pain. You may order NuVet Plus and NuJoint Plus by purchasing a bottle at your next grooming appointment or by calling NuVet Labs at 1-800-474-7044 (order code 65397).
A price comparison was done in Athens, Georgia in January 2010 to compare quality dog foods at the best price:
Grocery stores and Wal-Mart carry mostly dry dog foods with corn, wheat and soy as the main ingredients. It's difficult to find a dry dog food at these places that are free of harmful grains such as corn, wheat or soy. Pet Stores and Veterinarians carry many dry and canned foods without grains but can be expensive. Not surprisingly, one of the most expensive was Science Diet at about $3 a pound but sadly, almost all Science Diet products including their "sensitive systems formula" and puppy food contain corn, wheat and soy! How disappointing!
The best dry food priced per pound of high quality ingredients is Taste of the Wild in 3 formulas to choose from. The Dawg House now carries all 3 Taste of the Wild Dog Foods in dry and canned.
Recommended dry food: Taste of the Wild any of 3 flavors.
Recommended canned: Taste of the Wild, any of 3 flavors.
Recommended Tear Stain Remover: Bright Eyes or switching food to Taste of the Wild.
Recommended Health Supplement: NuVet Plus and/or NuJoint Plus.
Recommended Raw Foods to Give Dogs: Taste of The Wild Canned Food, or add small amounts of oils, cottage cheese, yogurt, raw turkey, raw eggs, fish, peanut butter (but not for dogs with asthma), citrus fruits, uncooked applesauce or a blended apple, squash, sweet potatoes, banana, asparagus, brocolli, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, celery, salad greens. Try to use organic ingredients and, as with all new foods, introduce small amounts to the current diet. Fruits and vegetables need to be blended for maximum absorption unless it's soft like a banana.
Food and ingredients to avoid: Onions, grapes, raisins, chocolate & cocoa, avoid grains & cereals, breads, corn, wheat, soy, mill run in regards to any grain as this is just the sweepings off the floor unfit for human consumption. Other foods to avoid include meat meal, meat by-product, mill run, avocado, garlic, sunflower oil, most bones (unless they're the soft non weight-supporting bones that remain after pressure cooking poultry), and don't give peanut products to dogs with asthma as it can trigger an episode. Limit rawhide to one small twist per day as rawhide swells in the stomach and can cause bloating, a painful blockage and even death. Preservatives and food coloring can also cause stomach upset.
Lamb and fish can be a healthy alternative for some dogs but is low in protein. Lamb and fish is also usually not recommended for puppies as they are growing and need more protein. A low protein diet is one of the reasons a dog will eat poop. Switching to Taste of the Wild Waterfowl or Bison/Venison formula's that contain extra protein is the best solution for most dogs.
Recommended Treats: "No Grainers" treats, pig ears, rawhide.
1. If your dog hasn't received a dental exam, ask for a dental cleaning at your next grooming appointment. Your groomer can tell you if he may require a cleaning by a veterinarian, and then you can maintain his clean teeth at home or at each grooming appointment.
2. Create a regular dental care routine at home and with your groomer. For example, you can brush your dog's teeth with special canine toothpaste and toothbrush as well as use enzymatic spray and additives to drinking water which are available at The Dawg House
3. Never use human toothpaste or mouthwash. They can make your dog sick.
4. Start early! Grown dogs can learn to become comfortable with brushing, but make things easier for yourself by working with your dog as a puppy.
5. Your groomer can identify broken or chipped teeth (not uncommon in small dogs) as well as loose or infected teeth. Take your dog to the vet if you notice signs of dental problems:
Change in eating or chewing habits
Pawing at the face or mouth
Misaligned or missing teeth
Discolored, broken, missing or crooked teeth
Red, swollen, painful or bleeding gums
Yellowish-brown tartar crust along the gum line
Bumps or growths within the mouth
6. Aggressive chewing on hard objects can cause broken teeth. Make sure you are providing safe objects for your dog to gnaw on.
7. During your dog's annual check-ups, make sure your veterinarian takes a good look at his or her teeth to keep an eye out for any issue you may miss.
In conclusion, by making informed decisions about the dog foods we purchase and the ingredients to avoid, and by adding raw fruits & veggies as well as beneficial oils and health supplements you can boost your dog's intake of quality ingredients especially helpful for skin and coat problems.
Regular dental cleanings at the groomers and dental exams by a Veterinarian maintain the health of the teeth as well as brushing at home between appointments.
The results of feeding quality foods and maintaining healthy teeth will be improved health and a strong immune system allowing the dog to lead a longer and healthier life. And isn't that what it's all about?